DPS Commissioner Guerrero says funds are tight
The lack of funds explains why there are no cadets from Tinian and Rota in the 23rd Police Cycle Academy that kicked off last week, according to Department of Public Safety Commissioner Robert Guerrero.
Rota DPS director Eusebio Manglona has expressed disappointment over what he termed as the “apparent lack of support” from Guerrero for Rota DPS.
Manglona disclosed that like Tinian DPS, Rota DPS is also planning to have its own police academy.
In response to a Saipan Tribune’s article last Friday about the 23rd CNMI Police Academy that has 34 cadets but not one from Tinian and Rota, Guerrero said each island has always covered their respective expenses to send cadets who will attend the academy on Saipan.
Guerrero said that Saipan DPS assists with the expenses for uniform and equipment—when funds permit.
“This time, funds are tight,” said Guerrero, adding that he informed Tinian and Rota directors that they had to cover all their expenses for sending cadets to attend the academy on Saipan. “You can check with Finance on this if you want to confirm.”
Rota DPS Director Manglona affirmed in an interview last week that Guerrero gave them a letter stating that he is not accommodating all their cadets.
Manglona said that, according to Guerrero, he is giving Rota only a limited number of cadets to attend the academy on Saipan and that Rota should cover the expenses for their cadets’ equipment, gears, shelter, lodging, and transportation.
“This is the first time that this thing’s been happening with the commissioner and also, even with our firearms, we have to shoulder everything,” Manglona said.
Manglona said they did not send cadets to Saipan because it would cost Rota DPS over $200,000.
In contrast, when Rota Fire Department sent about eight cadets to Saipan for the fire academy, the Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services on Saipan shouldered the expenses for their lodging, transportation, and gear, he said.
“For Rota police, zero support from Robert,” Manglona said.
He disclosed that they just met with Northern Marianas College criminal justice coordinator Zerlyn Taimanao and that they will be setting up a police academy on Rota, accredited under NMC.
He said they are looking at next month or June to start the academy.
“We’re still working with our NMC counterpart so we can have our own police academy because, right now without Robert’s support, we’re zero,” Manglona said.
At present, Rota DPS has 31 police officers, including Manglona.
Tinian DPS director Matthew Masga also revealed last week that they are also planning to put up their own police academy after Guerrero informed him that Tinian DPS would have to shoulder the expenses of sending 10 to 12 cadets to Saipan.
Masga said sending 10 to 12 cadets to Saipan will cost Tinian DPS $220,000.